It’s True, The iPhone Increases The US Trade Deficit – But How?

It’s entirely true that the iPhone, Apple’s practice of building it in China, increases the US trade deficit. But how and by how much is something worth examining at a greater level of detail. The answer being that it’s very much less than you think:

How the iPhone widens the US trade deficit with China: The case of the iPhone X
Yuqing Xing 11 November 2019

In order to pursue ‘fair trade’, the Trump administration has imposed a punitive 25% tariff on $250 billion’s worth of Chinese goods.…

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If Only Robert Reich Knew Anything

We’re told that American capitalism is fixed:

You might say the $110bn man deserves this because he founded and built Amazon. But Amazon is a monopolist with nearly 50% of all e-commerce retail sales in America, and e-commerce is one of the biggest sectors of retail sales. In addition, Amazon’s business is protected by a slew of patents granted by the US government.

50% does not make you a monopolist. Further, it’s about 38%.…

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It’s Free Trade, Not Tariff Walls, That Drives Excellence And Competitiveness

It’s competition that drives up productivity – why bother to do that hard work if you don’t have to? Foreign trade is simply that competition from foreigners that similarly drives up productivity. We have historical evidence of this too:

Early 20th century American exceptionalism: Production, trade and diffusion of the automobile
Dong Cheng, Mario Crucini, Hyunseung Oh, Hakan Yilmazkuday 08 November 2019

As the current narrative goes, the loss of US manufacturing jobs is due to competition from China and one way to get the jobs back is by running tariffs up the proverbial flagpole.…

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Owen Jones Doesn’t Understand Steve Jobs And The iPhone

Owen Jones insists that billionaires simply shouldn’t exist. Because for everyone that does millions have been deprived of the value they create.

Dan Riffle, senior adviser to Ocasio-Cortez, says every billionaire is a policy failure. He’s right. A billionaire is someone who has concentrated wealth that is collectively created by the hard work and graft of others. A significant portion have inherited their wealth. But even the majority who haven’t are not “self-made” by any accurate use of that term.

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Leigh Day And Malawian Child Labour In The Tobacco Fields

The ambulance chasers at Leigh Day are having a go at British American Tobacco and the manner in which children work on smallholder farms producing tobacco in Malawi.

Hmm, well, yes, OK, but what is it that anyone wants anyone to do?

Even Dickens did not describe harder toil. Life for the child of a tenant farmer who works the tobacco fields of Malawi is unimaginably arduous: up at 4am for several hours of labour with no breakfast, cutting into the earth with a heavy hoe.

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Why The Heck Did Softbank Pay Neumann $1.7 Billion?

Seriously, why offer such a damn big payday for someone you’re just firing?

WeWork’s ousted founder Adam Neumann will land a $1.7bn (£1.3bn) pay day as part of a rescue deal from investor SoftBank – while thousands of the company’s ordinary staff face an uncertain future.

The business decided on Tuesday to accept funding from SoftBank in a move that cut its valuation to just $8bn and removed Mr Neumann as chairman. The firm had previously hoped to float for as much as $47bn.

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